4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 26, 2013 5:31 PM by NCDave

    MS Access to FM Pro - questions before making a purchase?



      MS Access to FM Pro - questions before making a purchase?


           Hello All,

           I'm new to this forum - after recent retirement, I transitioned from PCs to Apple (iMac + MBPro w/ Mtn Lion - plan to go to Mavericks but not immediately); I had a half dozen databases on Access, 4 of the smaller ones transferred to other programs (Google Drive, Numbers, & iPad app) - BUT, I have 2 large musical databases for my CD collection, one w/ 2500 records & the other w/ 1500.  Before spending $300 on FM Pro (which is steep for someone in retirement especially for this purpose) and having tried Numbers which failed me in wanting a certain printout appearance, I have several questions that I hope can be answered - thanks in advance for any help:

             1.  Import the 2 large Access DBs into FM Pro - I assume that my best option is to use the 'unsorted' table, export to Numbers (as an Excel file extension), then import into FM?  I at that point manipulate the table relative to sorting, etc.?

             2. Reports & printing - certain columns in my DBs contain repetitive entries (attached are two pics from my wine recommended DB shown in Numbers) - in the altered table (right) I simply deleted repeat entries, but in Access in setting up a report I was able to easily achieve this goal - Numbers does not offer me that flexibility w/o using a bunch of complex formulas (just went through a long discussion in the Apple Community, so that is my understanding) - SO, does FM Pro provide that printing feature easily?

           Thanks for comments or any other suggestions - not sure that there is another 'powerful' DB for the Mac OS that would accomplish my goal (all of the 'free' Office suites appear deficient in their printing options).  Dave


        • 1. Re: MS Access to FM Pro - questions before making a purchase?

                    Before spending $300 on FM Pro...

               I suggest downloading the 30 day free trial to get a feel for FileMaker.

               1) FileMaker can import data from a number of basic file types. You can export either tab, csv or an excel file format to produce a data file that can be imported into FileMaker. The import process can import data into an existing table or it can be used to create a new table in your file. Once the data is imported, you can sort, search as needed to work with the data.

               2) A fairly simple conditional format expression that uses GetNthRecord to compare the value in the current record to the value of the same field in the preceding record can make the text only visible for the first such record in a group with the same value.

          • 2. Re: MS Access to FM Pro - questions before making a purchase?

                 Assuming that iTunes will not serve your purposes....

                 Download the 30 day trial - there are templates included - one is music library

                 Add the fields needed to match your old databases.
                 Export the access databases to excel or comma deliminated.

                 Open the excel or csv in filemaker - it will create a database with your data.
                 Name or rename the fields in the new database to match the names in the Music Library database from template.

                 Import the data.

                 This list of FMP links may be useful

            • 3. Re: MS Access to FM Pro - questions before making a purchase?

                   For printing reports, you can use the Sub-Summary when sorting by… Part to accomplish the same thing. It wouldn't print like your Table format, but it would be a header over the table (body) either underneath or above. Which, you can make look better than a table (spreadsheet) view of your data.

                   For point #1, like what was mentioned by the other 2 commenters, you can import an Excel spreadsheet directly into FileMaker Pro. If you have multiple "sheets" in your Excel spreadsheet, you would need to import each separately.

                   There is a learning curve in figuring out all the possibilities with FileMaker, but once you learn, you will find out it is far more powerful.

              • 4. Re: MS Access to FM Pro - questions before making a purchase?

                     Thanks for all of your responses to my post - believe that I will likely have to do a 30-day DL trial and 'test' out my needs, including the report printing - will do soon.  Dave :)